It’s incredibly hard to think clearly after a car accident. You’ve just been through one of the most traumatic experiences of your life. You’re likely to be disoriented at best. Your mind is going to be going a million miles a minute and everything is going to feel uncertain. Unfortunately, the moments after an accident can be some of the most critical towards making sure that you get all of the compensation that you deserve. That’s one of the reasons we write often about what to do after an accident here on our Los Angeles car accident lawyer blog: it’s that important.
Get one. That’s the most important thing our Los Angeles car accident lawyer team can tell you about medical evaluations. You want to get as clear and thorough a medical evaluation as possible. First off, right after the accident, you want to make sure that you’re out of harm’s way. This could mean moving out of your car, this could mean moving your car out of harm’s way, and it could mean a lot of things. But, the first critical thing to do is make sure that you aren’t going to be hurt further. Obviously, if you can’t move, that complicates things quite a bit. But, to the extent that you are able, ascertain whether you are in harm’s way and how to best get out of it.
The reason for that is pretty simple: many of the injuries that occur in car accidents come after the initial accident. A driver sees the accident and slams on their brakes or swerves, they hit something, and it leads to an awful chain reaction. Getting yourself to safety to the best of your ability is so important after a car accident. Then, once that’s happened, you want to contact the authorities. The police should be there, medical professionals, all of it. Your health and safety are most important. Once they’re taken care of (or at least to the point where they won’t deteriorate further) then you can make other decisions to best protect your future.
A situation our Los Angeles car accident lawyer team sees often is a person who comes through a car accident unscathed (thankfully) and then, after the accident, they go home and rest. This may feel like the right thing to do. It may seem as if this is the right course of action, as going home can give you a chance to recover, recoup, and process how lucky you are not to be hurt further. When you go home after an accident, it can feel like you got a new lease on life. That is wonderful that you didn’t need immediate transport to a hospital.
However, our Los Angeles car accident lawyer team strongly recommends that you go to a hospital to get fully checked out. We always recommend that you get a medical evaluation from professionals at a hospital as soon as possible after an accident. There are so many reasons for this. The most important reason is that it’s about your health. You don’t know of all the small injuries that may develop after an accident. Even if you are a doctor, it’s incredibly difficult to diagnose yourself. It’s essentially impossible if you aren’t a doctor. So, medical professionals can let you know what injuries you may have that you won’t know about.
Moreover, they can find where you might not have been hurt, but maybe weakened. For example, medical pros can find if you strained your shoulder, and should maybe take it easy on that part of your body going forward. If you didn’t know that, and just went about your life, you might develop worse injures later on from the injury. When you get a medical evaluation right after an accident, you’re protecting your health as well as your future.
Additionally, getting a medical evaluation quickly gives your Los Angeles car accident lawyer help to get you as much compensation as possible. See, your lawyer needs to show that your injuries are related directly to the accident. That means that it has to be clear you were injured in the accident. The insurance company, always looking for any advantage, may try to say that your injuries were the result of something other than the accident. This is, of course, not true, but it’s another cherished technique of the insurance company.
So, if you wait to get a medical evaluation, this can make it easier for the insurance company to make that argument. “If the injured party were really hurt,” the insurance company could argue, “they wouldn’t have put off that medical evaluation.” The longer you wait, the less critical your injuries and health might look to others. You could have valid reasons to not go for a medical evaluation right away. But, it can be one way to make your case all that much stronger.
If you do go get a thorough medical evaluation from a professional, you’ll be able to head off all of those challenges. It will be easy to draw a direct line from the accident to your injuries. The medical professional could even be called as a witness if need be. The little things you can do to make your case better are always worth taking advantage of. The insurance company has every trick at their disposal and is willing to use them – you have to do what you can to make it harder on them and easier for yourself.
Hopefully, if you were in a car accident, you weren’t harmed in any way as a result of the experience. If you’re like most people who have been in a seemingly minor car accident, maybe you didn’t make a police report. Perhaps no one was hurt at all, both of the vehicles involved were no worse for wear – those are just a few of the reasons people give for not filing a police report. People sometimes don’t file them just because they want to leave or have somewhere to get to. So, they leave before the police even show up. However, our Los Angeles car accident lawyer hopes you get a police report no matter what.
A police report isn’t the definitive arbiter as to whether or not one party in a car accident was at fault. However, the police office might mention that the other driver was at fault. It’s been known to happen, they make notes of it sometimes – that this potential exists is enough reason to get the police report yourself. In a car accident and its aftermath, it can feel like everything is set up to go against you. The police report can also help should you develop injuries later on.
Unfortunately, people can still be harmed just from having been in a fender bender. If you do develop injuries later on after having been in a car accident, it can be very hard to get the compensation you deserve without the police report. For example, if there’s no police report, the person who hit you and caused your injury can even just say the accident never happened. Getting a police report is one more way that you can make things just a little bit easier on yourself after an accident.
Those are just a few tips we point out to people so that, should they ever be in a car accident (and hopefully they won’t) they might be more prepared than they would be otherwise. If you’ve just been in an accident, and want lawyers that know how to try these cases and win them, give us a call at (818) 240-1800. Alternately, you could contact us through our site, too.